Read about using gerunds and infinitives in English. Then, when you are ready, try these verb patterns exercises (elementary) or these verb patterns exercises (intermediate).

Gerunds

She likes playing tennis.A gerund is an -ing verb used as a noun. We often use gerunds after other verbs (verb + gerund). For example:

She likes playing tennis.

Simon went shopping on Friday.

I've started learning French.

Be careful - gerunds are not the same as the present continuous. You can use a present continuous verb form (or any other tense) with a gerund. For example:

I'm enjoying reading this book.

 

Infinitives

After some verbs, we need an infinitive with 'to', not a gerund. For example:

She wants to play tennis.

Sarah has decided to get married.

I'm hoping to win the lottery.

Elementary / pre-intermediate level verbs

You'll need to learn which verbs to use with gerunds, and which verbs to use with infinitives.

like, love, hate, don't mind, can't stand, enjoy, finish
+ verb-ing (gerund)

would like, want, need, hope, expect, plan, decide, arrange, learn
+ to + infinitive

Test yourself here with these verb patterns exercises (elementary - pre-int).

Intermediate / upper-intermediate level verbs

At intermediate level and above, these verb patterns will be useful.

miss, practise, admit, deny, suggest, recommend, consider, imagine, fancy, postpone, avoid
+ verb-ing (gerund)

seem, tend, offer, pretend, manage, agree, appear, can't wait, can't afford, prepare
+ to + infinitive

Test yourself here with these verb patterns exercises (intermediate+).

For more information on verb patterns, you could also look at this lesson on verbs for reported speech.